Our People

Doctors, caregivers, employees and volunteers deserve a meaningful and fulfilling place to work. Across Sutter Health, we work as a unified team, encouraging creative thinking and collaborative problem-solving to ensure that our patients receive exceptional, compassionate care. We offer our employees competitive pay and benefits, as well as many opportunities for education, personal growth and career advancement.

Teamwork helps reduce patient wait times

As the health care industry evolves, Sutter Health has enhanced how we create a fulfilling place to work and practice medicine. We’ve long fostered a systemwide culture that encourages employees and physicians to participate in improving work and decision-making processes to benefit our patients. In 2013, for example, a team of doctors and surgical services staff members at Sutter-affiliated California Pacific Medical Center in San Francisco developed procedures to more rapidly prepare operating rooms. Their work to standardize stocking of basic supplies for common surgical procedures helped reduce wait times for our patients.

Program prepares nurses for operating room

In response to a nationwide shortage of operating room nurses, an innovative 12-week training program prepares Sutter Health registered nurses—experienced and new graduates—for careers in the operating room. The program, which graduated its first class in February 2013, uses a simulation approach, allowing nurses to learn procedures safely in a controlled environment rather than practicing for the first time on patients. The approach helps to ensure better, safer care for patients undergoing surgery. It also provides a rich professional-development opportunity for nurses seeking to specialize in operating room care. Trainees who completed the program in 2013 now work in hospital and clinic operating rooms across our network.

Registered nurse Renee Dodge, right, instructor and developer of our operating room training program, guides registered nurse Liz Allen in the correct handling of surgical instruments. Allen now applies her new skills at Sutter Amador Surgery Center.

Pension plan continues fully funded

At a time when many company pension plans have declined in value or are underfunded, Sutter Health continued its commitment in 2013 to maintaining a fully funded plan for our workforce of 48,000. Over the past five years, Sutter Health has invested $1.2 billion in the pension plan so our employees can feel financially secure when they retire.

Employees’ students win scholarships

To support the educational goals of our employees’ children and grandchildren, Sutter Health in 2013 awarded scholarships to 142 students attending community colleges, four-year universities or graduate programs. Awards ranged from $1,000 to $3,000. Our Sutter Scholars program has given more than $6.2 million in scholarships since 2002.

Peer problem-solving drives program

Over the past 15 years, more than 1,500 health care professionals across our network have participated in a program focused on improving patient care quality, safety, service and efficiency while reducing overall costs. Through our Management and Clinical Excellence program, multidisciplinary teams collaborate on improvement projects during a four-month session each year. Participants look to industry experts, our patients and each other for ideas, inspiration and practical solutions for common health care challenges, such as how to reduce surgical complications and improve patient satisfaction. By the end of 2013, our employees and physician partners had implemented 593 quality- and efficiency-improvement projects since the program began in 1999.

Volunteers add extra caring touch

Volunteers have always played an important role in Sutter Health’s personalized care. In 2013, more than 5,000 volunteers contributed their time and talents at hospitals, care clinics and home-health programs across our network. Volunteers answer questions, transport patients in wheelchairs, lead hospital tours for schoolchildren, visit with hospice patients, make bonnets and booties for newborns and provide innumerable other compassionate services that help our patients feel welcome and comfortable during the time they spend with us.

LaVonne Laskey, above, has volunteered at Sutter-affiliated Memorial Medical Center in Modesto since 1965, devoting 18,000 hours to patients and their families. Patrick Miska, left, contributes his gardening skills to a residential hospice program as a volunteer for Sutter-affiliated California Pacific Medical Center in San Francisco.

Awards recognize workplace excellence

Along with many annual awards for medical care excellence, our hospitals and care centers often receive recognition as excellent places to work. In 2013, for example, the National Business Group on Health awarded Sutter-affiliated Alta Bates Summit Medical Center in Oakland a Best Employers for Healthy Lifestyles gold award, and Modern Healthcare magazine ranked our Sutter Davis Hospital, Sutter Center for Psychiatry and Sutter Medical Foundation among the nation’s 100 Best Places to Work.